This post brought to you by guest blogger: Lean Into Midlife.
I love eggs and eat 2-3 of them for breakfast, every… single… day…!
My husband tells me that he has never seen a person eat so many eggs in his life.
If we are ever out of eggs, in the morning, it’s a major calamity for me.
I’ve tried substituting other foods for breakfast, even ones that replicate egg’s nutritional profile such as smoked salmon roll-ups or grilled cheese on almond flour biscuits but nothing, I mean NOTHING, makes me feel as satisfied as my egg-y breakfasts.
But what about all that cholesterol in eggs you ask?
Isn’t eating so many eggs bad for you? Shouldn’t you limit the number of eggs you eat to 2-3 a week? Won’t eggs raise my cholesterol levels and clog my arteries?
As a primal low carb high fat weight loss coach I get asked these questions ALL the time.
One of the first things I tell a new client when we talk about meal planning is “eat all the eggs you want.”
But back to all that cholesterol…
Eggs do not cause heart disease
For over forty years, eggs have been demonized and called unhealthy because of their high cholesterol content and criticized as artery clogging. The ‘eggs are bad for you’ message was so widely accepted that many people started ditching their egg yolks, and cooking with those dreadful processed egg-white only substitutes. Ugh!
Thankfully, the tide is turning.
Here are the facts: A large egg contains 212mg of cholesterol, a high amount compared to most other foods.
However, studies have shown time and time again that eating foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat has absolutely no effect on cholesterol levels in the blood and no link to heart disease. Yet the myth persists.
Let’s examine this myth about cholesterol because I’d like to squash it and reassure you once and for all.
We actually have two kinds of cholesterol in our blood: the HDL (“good”) and LDL (“bad”). Total cholesterol levels are less important than the ratio of HDL to LDL. Eating saturated fat and cholesterol are generally believed to increase the LDL bad cholesterol.
But that’s only part of the story, because there are also two kinds of LDL cholesterol: large, fluffy particles (type A) and small, dense ones (type B). When someone reduces their consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat and their LDL cholesterol “drops,” they’re only lowering their type A particles. But it’s the type B that are more closely linked to heart disease, and they’re generally controlled by carbohydrate consumption – not the consumption of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.
When your doctor measures your cholesterol you usually only receive the total LDL value and not the fluffy (type A) vs small dense (type B) breakdown. So… having overall elevated LDL levels is not necessarily a bad thing.
Here’s the good news about eggs:
A recent review study looked at 17 studies to specifically evaluate the effects of egg consumption on health and discovered that eggs had no association with either heart disease or stroke in otherwise healthy people.
The best way to lower type B dense LDL particles and reduce the risk of heart disease is to follow a diet that’s low in carbs, rather than low in fat and cholesterol.
It’s time to bring eggs back to the breakfast table!
Here are a few more reasons why eggs are good for you:
Eggs are rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants
Eggs are particularly rich in the two antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthine.
These antioxidants protect the retina of the eye and may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, which are the leading causes of blindness in older adults.
Eggs are also high in choline which is known to enhance memory as well as muscle and nervous system function.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods
Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals good fats such as saturated fat and monounsaturated fats. Most of the nutrients are found in the yolks.
If you think about it… one egg contains all the nutrients required to support the growth of a baby chicken so it has to be nutritious.
One large egg contains:
72 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein.
good amounts of iron, phosphorous, selenium and Vitamins A, B2, B12, and B6.
good amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Calcium and Zinc.
In 2007, Mother Earth News magazine decided to compare the nutritional value of pastured eggs and eggs from confined birds. See the results below:
As you can see, pastured eggs are a much better nutritional deal. They’re higher in Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Increasing the amount of Omega-3’s, in your diet is particularly important for good health and goes a long way towards balancing out the more pro-inflammatory, Omega-6’s which are prevalent in today’s standard American diet.
Eggs are extremely satiating and can help you lose weight
They’re low in calories and extremely low in carbohydrate, which means that they will not raise blood glucose levels or make you store body fat.
As you face the challenge of losing weight, it’s important to eat foods that are naturally nutrient-rich and stave off hunger between meals. The egg is an “egg-cellent” example.
In one study 30 overweight or obese women ate either an egg based or bagel based breakfast. Those who ate eggs were less hungry and consumed fewer calories at lunch than those who had eaten the bagel breakfast.
Going to work on a couple of eggs might be the way forward if you want to shift those pounds.
Eggs are also inexpensive, can be used in many ways and they taste awesome!
Yours in health
Elena Vaillancourt, M. App Sci is a popular weight loss coach and the founder of “Lean Into Midlife”, a weight loss program designed for people in midlife who are struggling with weight gain.